Tonight Cynthia Alexander is playing at her home. As part of her Send Off Series, Malou Matute, Cj Wasu and Jonathan Zuniga Urbano join the great Miss Alexander in Conspiracy Bar, the place she has been playing almost regularly all these years. But tonight it is for the last time before she leaves for good at the end of the month.
It is certain that at this hour people are cramped in that no smoking, haven for artists venue where familiar faces I have seen sing along to her songs are carrying both heavy and hopeful heart for the musician. Fans charmed by Miss Alexander’s songs, fans who know those songs line by line have taken the freedom of owning the meanings on their own. One comment in her fan page about her recent gig in 19 East rings true to most us, “I remember catching your gig every Thursday at Survival Cafe 12 years ago. Your songs got me through tough times and heartaches.” Pretty much that statement sums up what made her music special to all of us.
“Owner of the Sky” by Cynthia Alexander
Seeing her for the first time way back 2003 in Rakista gig was a shining memory among my friends and I in our university years. That was the first time we heard Miss Alexander sing songs from Insomnia & other Lullabies and Rippingyarns. Hers were records that we memorized from start to finish, from side A to the last track in Side B and with stories winded on some of them. That night, I gave her a bookmark I made with lyrics of “Owner of the Sky,” the ninth track off of Rippingyarns. After that, we tried as much as we could to catch her on her gigs until the time we had to leave school and get our way into the world. Last I have seen of Miss Alexander was on her live recording session in 19East for her live release.
The news about Miss Alexander leaving the Philippines for Washington started buzzing few weeks ago and was confirmed when on her fan page she posted about the Send Off Series she would be staging as farewell concert to her friends and fans. Surely my friends know about this and probably they are now at her concert this very moment. Probably, they are celebrating Miss Alexander’s possible success in another land yet mourning for a pending loss happening in contemporary Filipino music. Her music has been the emblem of triumph for Filipino independent music praised by music critics and worshiped by us. Her leaving could be personal or a professional one, and I cannot blame her. Some of my friends have left the country, too, for opportunities and that includes me. It is just colossal this one, it is Cynthia Alexander and it felt like my country is about to lose the greatest independent artist of my time.